The Way It's Supposed To Be

A poem I wrote after somebody accused my boyfriend of beating me, because I had bruises on my legs and arms from wrestling.

People always look at me and ask, "Where'd you get that bruise?"

And I'll thumb it gently, my whole body screaming out against the tenderness of it.

I say, "My boyfriend."

The look that comes across their faces is one that deeply bothers me.

"Does he beat you?" They ask, their eyes wide in horror.

"No," I reply, "He loves me."

They stare at me blankly until it becomes awkward, and I'm forced to speak again.

"We're best friends. The way lovers are supposed to be."

They ask me why I spend my nights waiting to talk to you.

They look at me strangely when I tell them it is to hear your voice.

They ask me what could be so special about it. To which I always reply:

"It's velvet thunder. The sun in the middle of the night. The ocean in the middle of the desert."

They don't understand. I'm okay with that.

I'll sit in my room, thinking of you.

I'll gently touch the bruises, and when the pain of missing you grows to be too much,

I'll squeeze them harder.

So something else hurts almost as much as missing you.

You may call it foolish. I call it love.

The way it's supposed to be.

At night, I'm unable to sleep because I'm thinking of you.

I imagine your arms around me, and your breath gently tickling my ear.

I imagine in the look in your eyes when I say something cute.

Or when I tell you I love you.

No look has ever made me feel so important.

I understand we fight a lot.

Maybe it's my fault.

I'm not used to being loved.

Or even wanted for that matter.

But after every fight, usually within an hour,

I'll crawl over to you. put my head on your just, wrap my arms around you,

And tell you that I love you.

The way it's supposed to be.

Sure, I get jealous.

But you get jealous, too.

It's only because we're both afraid.

We're the crayons that fell in the cushion of grandma's love seat/

We were needed to finish the picture.

And sure, the picture has been colored outside the lines in some places,

But that's okay.

Because you're not perfect.

And neither am I.

And my favorite days are the days I wake up and realize that I get to see you.

That within the next twelve hours, I'll be able to kiss you/

I'll be able to hold you, and you that I love you.

That we'll be able to laugh, and joke, and talk.

And wrestle around, leaving bruises all over each other.

In the way that only we could do.

You always tell me I can't beat you in a wrestling match.

And every time I see you, I try to prove you wrong.

I haven't.


I love you. Not because of your voice, or your eyes, or your hair.

And not because of me.

But because you're my best friend.

The way it's supposed to be.

The End

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